Improving health by writing!

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We all have heard a problem shared is a problem halved…

but what if no friends are available and you need to express yourself?

Writing down your thoughts to express your concerns, worries and connect with your feelings may be an option.

Writing can give many therapeutic benefits:-

  • help to calm your mind by giving you a focus

  • document a journey

  • help to express feelings and release emotions

  • help to reduce worry

  • assist in processing difficult situations

  • create a sense of direction

  • help to formulate some goals

  • give a sense of achievement

  • improve sleep

 

Writing can take many forms:-

journaling

documenting, to help process your thoughts

a letter to yourself or others (best not to send, but can help to clarify your feelings)

blogging

free writing

a gratitude diary

list making

doodling

 

There is a body of evidence developing which indicates that if you write a list of specific tasks you need to do for the next day, as you go to bed, it helps reduce rumination (repetitive thoughts). This reduces the time you take to go to sleep.

Better sleep helps the processing of challenges in your life and improves well being.

 

Pick up a pen!

 

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Exam stress!!

 

exam-revision

Its that time of year again!!

Teenagers all over the country are beginning to feel the pressure…

poor motivation?

dis-organisation?

apathy?

erratic moods?

impending sense of panic?

anxiety?

As parents of a possibly uncommunicative, yet stressed teenager, where the young person may have great difficulty expressing their concerns, can be a challenging time for the whole family.

Knowing where to go to seek support can be tricky!

If the teenager is demonstrating anxiety and depression symptoms, where they appear to be not coping with erratic emotions, have significant changes in eating and sleeping habits or are expressing feelings of low mood, particularly suicidal thoughts, then a Gp consultation is necessary.

For many teenagers it can be much more subtle than this and who may improve the situation can be less obvious.

The schools and colleges are getting better at offering sessions on tips and strategies which enhance the students planning for revision, so they feel better prepared and more able to cope with the pressures.

Encourage the teenager to access support at school with lunch time and after school sessions and talk to their teacher about difficulties they are having.

With the multiple demands on teenagers this preparation is getting harder to focus on.

It relies on the teenager not being too hormonal, influenced by their peers (which has long been the case), but magnified by the massive influence from social media.

This constant distraction of messages, apps and the internet is pervasive and often difficult to manage alongside their rapidly developing brains. As many study skills need to be accessed on line it is increasingly difficult to avoid the pull of the internet.

Personal discipline is crucial and the challenges many:-

  • addiction to social networking and the phone constantly in the hand
  • a fear of failure making even starting to think about study difficult
  • performance anxiety making focusing a challenge
  • a lack of engagement with their studies
  • no clear sense of direction

Accessing resources to improve the teenagers ability to remain calm, focus and commit to performing in the way that does them justice is hugely beneficial.

A session or 2 with a Hypnotherapist who can offer NLP techniques to promote these skills, either with or without hypnosis, can help the teenager to set the intention and take the steps towards achieving their goals.

Contact me if you want to explore this conversation further.

Sometimes recognising what is happening for the student is the first step.

 

Stress – mind & body links

stress-1024x536

We have known for some time the affects that emotional stress has on the body. Particularly the increased risk of cardio vascular disease, this includes high blood pressure, and the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Some of this can be due to negative coping mechanisms – such as smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol – but a direct link between the psychological processes and the impact our health has been identified.

Research has found a link between our emotions and heightened activity in the amygdala. The amygdala is the part of the brain which processes emotions such as fear and anger.

By measuring activity in this part of the brain, using CT scans, and measuring the levels of inflammation in the arteries, heightened activity was identified. By following up participants over several years, following a period of perceived stress, the researchers were able to show an association between the likelihood of a cardiac event and increased stress.

They also showed that higher levels of activity in the amygdala were associated with the occurence of cardiac events sooner.

Further studies have added weight to these findings. Participants stress levels were significantly associated with activity in the amygdala and arterial inflammation.

Keeping your stress levels in perspective are more important than ever.

Basics:-

  1. Recognise stress within yourself

  2. Journal your thoughts and feelings – reducing mental stresses and observe your growth

  3. Increase physical activity levels to maintain body wellbeing

  4. Eat as healthily as you can

  5. Nuture sleep

  6. Connect with others and communicate your challenge

    At times this may be challenging, in which case seek support.

Music’s stress relieving benefits.

“Music can change the way you breathe, so it can help your brain calm down”, says Dr. Gail Gross a nationally recognized expert, author, and educator on relationships, family development, education and behavior. Dr. Gross along with others notes the importance of having a great musical selection and conscious listening. Lets face it, for hundreds […]

via Music Does The Body Good! — Mental Health is Everywhere

Coming of age

My oldest child has become a young adult!!

Does it make me feel old?  A little…

Am I sad about it…

not really!?

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The last few years whilst she has been preparing for being more independant, have been a bit of a balancing act. I have still wanted to guide her as a parent, and will continue to do so,  but in a lesser role no doubt. There has been lots of challenge and disagreement!

As a parent of a teenager the conflict has been between me trying ‘not to know best’ and being available for discssions around tricky issues.

As teenagers they need to be able to explore who they are, look to their peers, try things out, challenge themselves, learn lots, make mistakes and run to the parent/s when things go wrong!

Their communication is all over the place from disengagement to outright rudenesss, with good moments in between.

It is a challenge to be steadily reasonable yourself when they are rejecting everything you open your mouth to say and can seem like a huge attack on you as a person.  You are “old” and “out of touch” and “don’t know anything” and are laughable – some of this is somewhat true, but can be very difficult to hear out of the mouth of babes. From the one you cradled, protected and nutured over the past 15 years or so and seems not that long ago. I know I’m getting sentimental now…

Parents need to keep adult enough, ensure they have their own interests and support systems to be strong and supportive during this phase. Having your own peers to share issues, laugh and keep perspective with is important.You are also a role model for your young person and how you deal with the stresses and strains of life is teaching those observing what the choices for lifestyle are. If you are struggling with any of these, seek help and support for yourself!

If you can keep communication channels open enough, you are doing well. You should be their sounding base at times and it is essential you set boundaries but are available for discussion if necessary, to unpick what is reasonable.

It may not feel like they trust anything you say much of the time but moments of difficulty will highlight this to you. Teens face huge pressures to look good, perform well academically and be social. Issues with low mood and anxiety have never been higher for our young people. Social media is the way of communicating so being involved and informing yourself, with your teens where possible, so what they are accessing is understood is essential. Friendships are of course a huge feature of this period and should be encouraged ideally with some interaction from parents so you are aware of their activities. Educate yourself on the dangers and the impact of social media and other teen issues on health and wellbeing. Awareness aids communication skills and being able to discuss more difficult subjects.

Schools and colleges are striving to keep pace with current issues as they arise and communicating with them and other relevant organisations, working together to support your teenager, can be reassuring in an ever changing environment. Keeping your teen engaged with learning and other activities available to them will promote their sense of belonging and reduce anti social activities. So having an open mind and being aware of opportunities to develop and support them is key.

So many issues to consider and I’m sure I’ve forgotten some…

I’m sure on embracing adulthood my daughter will continue to have problematic moments which at times I will find wearing. However…

Now I do feel more able to say – you’re a young adult, what do you think?

This has pushed some of the responsibility for more difficult decisions back to her and enabled a two way conversation with more balance.

It is a huge relief!!

Work stress

We continue to hear about the growing evidence of how excessive stress is bad for our health, and we are increasingly feeling it.

With our multi layered busy lives at home and increasing accountablity and pressures in the working environment…

How can we keep stress levels in perspective!

Sometimes it seems like we spend more time at work than we do anywhere else. Therefore, it’s important to make your work space as comfortable as possible. Because when you’re getting stressed at work, you’re probably going to take it home with you. Here are 5 ways to de-stress: Decorate your office Whether it be […]

via 5 Ways To De-Stress At Work — Hookup Culture

As an Hypnotherapist I can help you to access strategies and give you tools which help you to manage your stress levels.

Stress management is a skill for life. Improve your well being, both mentally & physically!

Stress – mind & body links

stress-1024x536

We have known for some time the affects that emotional stress has on the body. Particularly the increased risk of cardio vascular disease, this includes high blood pressure, and the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Some of this can be due to negative coping mechanisms – such as smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol – but a direct link between the psychological processes and the impact our health has been identified.

Research has found a link between our emotions and heightened activity in the amygdala. The amygdala is the part of the brain which processes emotions such as fear and anger.

By measuring activity in this part of the brain, using CT scans, and measuring the levels of inflammation in the arteries, heightened activity was identified. By following up participants over several years, following a period of perceived stress, the researchers were able to show an association between the likelihood of a cardiac event and increased stress.

They also showed that higher levels of activity in the amygdala were associated with the occurence of cardiac events sooner.

Further studies have added weight to these findings. Participants stress levels were significantly associated with activity in the amygdala and arterial inflammation.

Keeping your stress levels in perspective are more important than ever.

Basics:-

  1. Recognise stress within yourself

  2. Journal your thoughts and feelings – reducing mental stresses and observe your growth

  3. Increase physical activity levels to maintain body wellbeing

  4. Eat as healthily as you can

  5. Nuture sleep

  6. Connect with others and communicate your challenge

    At times this may be challenging, in which case seek support.